The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest land mammal in the world and one of nature’s great ecosystem engineers, being a major contributor to maintaining the balance between wooded and grass ecosystems. Here are 17 fascinating facts that you need to know.
A mass poisoning incident in the Wildlife Management Area just outside Ruaha National Park has left six lions and over 70 vultures dead.
A fascinating study has revealed that although elephants can move at considerable pace, there is a question as to whether they can run.
Seven interesting findings based around the impact on ecological processes and ecosystems of the ongoing extinction of native African herbivore species and the increase in livestock populations.
The world’s largest hunting club, Safari Club International (SCI) has slammed the door shut on South Africa’s canned lion industry, announcing it will no longer allow captive-bred lion operators to advertise or market captive-bred lions (CBL) at its annual convention, and will reject all captive-bred lion entries for its record books.
Hong Kong has voted to ban domestic ivory sales in a landmark move on Wednesday to end the infamous trade in the city.
US President Donald Trump has confirmed in an interview with Piers Morgan that he will not be lifting the ban on elephant trophies from Zambia and Zimbabwe.
These incredibly adorable baby genets stole the heart of their caretaker
We look behind the 2017 rhino poaching numbers
Little is known about how pangolins might cope with the direct and indirect effects of a changing climate. A PhD researcher is therefore investigating the body temperature, diet, and activity patterns of free-living ground pangolins in a semi-arid environment in South Africa.
Zombie ants and mind-controlling fungus reveals the darker side of the insect world.
Research has revealed that the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) straddling South Africa and Botswana is a stronghold for African lions.
An open letter to the president of Zimbabwe regarding the recent exportation of wild-caught baby elephants from Zimbabwe to China.
A recent study states that Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique still has the potential to support tens of thousands of elephants and 1,000 lions, as the vast majority of the ecosystem is intact.
The US Federal Court of Appeals has invalidated the decision to allow the import of animal parts from trophy hunts from Zambia and Zimbabwe.
China’s complete ban of the buying and selling of ivory products went into effect on Sunday.
An opinion piece in response to Peter Flack’s recent article that offered a hunter’s perceived threats to conservation in South Africa.
One of the main motivations for killing elephants in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is the argument that they destroy the plants and this is accepted by many as a problem. Let’s discuss whether this argument is not just an excuse for proponents of culling to get more ivory for the ivory trade, or to justify higher quotas for nearby hunting areas.
Scientists studying wild dogs in Botswana have found members of this endangered species use sneezes to vote on when the pack will move off and start hunting.
How often can you say that to take photographs of your subjects you have to lie down on the ground? Well, how else would you be able to get a ground-level perspective of the life of an ant, or peer in close to fully appreciate the form of a spider? Most people don’t. We walk …
With China announcing that it would shut down all ivory trade by the end of this year, concerns have been raised that Japan’s failure to prevent illegal ivory exports will undermine China’s prospective ban and the efforts to end the global trafficking of elephant tusks.
An unfortunate incident of mistaken identity where an aardwolf was misidentified as a hyena highlights the need for wildlife education.
A recent study has revealed that pangolin smugglers are constantly opening up new global trade routes every year to avoid law enforcement agencies.
A new association representing the interests of professional hunters, opposed to hunting captive-bred lions, has been formed in South Africa.
Here are 10 important pieces of information to keep in mind about wild animals when on safari in Africa.
A study has found that hanging beehives containing African honeybees from the branches of marula trees protects these trees against elephant impact because the elephants avoid those trees.
None of the existing role players in conservation understand what is required to save Africa’s vanishing wilderness. The issue is just too broad and deep – and politically charged.
Many bites from deadly snakes are difficult to prevent as people accidentally stand on snakes, especially at night. But the snake that has been biting lots of people recently is the poorly-known stiletto snake, also known as the side-stabbing snake.
The Elephant Orphanage Project provides a sanctuary for defenceless elephant calves, who are the victims of poaching, human conflict or occasionally natural abandonment. Under the age of two, young elephants are extremely vulnerable and very dependent. Most will not survive without both their mother’s care and her nutrient-rich milk.
Over the past few months, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP) in KwaZulu-Natal – managed by conservation agency Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – has been hard hit by a significant escalation in rhino poaching. Ezemvelo has subsequently been hard at work developing more effective anti-poaching and resource management strategies. In support of this, Peace Parks Foundation has committed an additional R10,6 million towards the implementation of advanced technology solutions in this sacred rhino protection area.
Botswana’s green season, the months of November to March, is known by locals as the “secret season” – when you will have game drives to yourself, and enjoy amazing sighting
Trophy hunting and other activities involving the targeting of high-quality male animals could lead to the extinction of certain species faced with changing environmental conditions, according to new research.
A trip to Africa can sometimes provide unique sightings other than elephants, lions and antelopes. And extraordinary sightings such as a fishing spider feeding on a freshly captured Argus reed frog is one such example.
In a change of policy after earlier turning its back on the breeding and hunting of captive lions, the Professional Hunters’ Association of SA (PHASA) has now approved such practices. During their annual general meeting on 22 November, members voted to approve “the hunting of captive bred lions as a legitimate form of hunting”.
People are likely to live with wildlife only when they have some realistic incentives to bear the costs of doing so. If wildlife doesn’t in one way or another form part of the livelihoods of people, it will inevitably make way for activities that do. For elephants, these incentives mean tourism and, yes, even trophy hunting.
Frank Pope, CEO of Save the Elephants, shares his insight into the latest news around the import of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe to America.
If there was a checklist for the perfect travel destination, South Africa would tick most of the boxes. Famed for its amazing wildlife and landscapes, superb local cuisine, warm hospitality and great weather, (plus the added bonus that its affordable) it’s easy to understand why tourism is so big in South Africa.
As part of our four-month trip around Africa, we decided to spend some of our time with the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
President Trump called elephant hunting a “horror show” Sunday and strongly suggested he will permanently block imports of elephant trophies from two African nations despite his administration’s earlier approval of the practice.
The Kruger National Park is vast, at about 2 million hectares, and requires a thorough management strategy in order to ensure long term sustainability. Part of that strategy, The Elephant Management Plan – compiled by Kruger management and Scientific Service – is currently in force, and covers the period 2013 to 2022.
US authorities will remove restrictions on importing African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Whether tourism operators and armchair lion-lovers like it or not, there are now too many lions in some parts of the Kunene region. Trying to save the lions that are killing livestock, or harassing the farmers who kill them, including impounding their firearms, will not serve the interests of conservation in the region.
Conservationist challenges Namibian minister in open letter regarding decision to relocate or kill problem lions in the Kunene region.
Over 280 goats and sheep have been killed by the same lions in two different locations over the past week in the Kunene region in Namibia.
The Parson’s chameleon is regarded as the largest chameleon in the world, found in the lush rainforests of eastern and northern Madagascar. Here are some fascinating facts about this giant creature of the forest.
What do China’s giant pandas and Madagascan bamboo lemurs have in common, aside from their precarious conservation status?
Zinave National Park in Mozambique has come alive with activity that will see the full potential of this breathtaking conservation area unlocked over the next decade.
I was driving my three-door RAV4 on the road leading to the part of the national park called ‘small Serengeti’ with Mount Meru standing majestically in front of me while I watched the nearby giraffes, zebras, baboons and buffaloes, when a brilliant flash of white caught my eye!
The poisoned bodies of nearly 50 vultures have been found by rangers in Mozambique‚ just a short distance from the boundary of the flagship Kruger National Park.
The Kgalagadi always delivers unusual opportunities to photograph animal and bird behaviour – such as a bird-eating heron.
Wildlife censuses carried out in four Central African countries have revealed that forest elephant populations have declined by approximately 66% over eight years in an area covering almost 6 million hectares.
Celebrated hunter Ron Thomson believes that 88% of Kruger National Park’s elephants should be culled.
In the middle of the sixth mass extinction, when 50% of the living species are at risk of extinction due to the ever growing, destructive human hands, the six rhinoceros species are at the tip of the pyramid, among the most endangered species on Earth.
Up until now I have never been involved in projects that mitigate climate change, however during my last expedition, I had the opportunity to spend some time exploring the greater Mahale ecosystem and Carbon Tanzania’s newest project site.
Presently, we are able to instantly globally share everything we see and hear in Kruger and just about every other destination on earth. Animal sightings and locations are given in real time and we are able to send photos and videos across a host of social media platforms.
Cheetah cubs continue to be sold on the UAE black market via social media accounts operated by five key dealers, helping fuel a thriving trade in illegal exotic pets.
On a recent expedition to Morocco, Grégory Breton, director of Panthera France, captured stunning (and viral!) videos and photos believed to be the first-ever sighting of wild sand cat kittens in their African range.
Sixty-six giraffes arrived in central China’s Henan Province in the early hours of Sunday, on a chartered flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, according to local sources.
There is a crisis of elephantine proportions playing out in the dry sandy Kalahari woodlands of eastern Botswana, and a determined family of caring people is caught in the middle of the drama. A friend and I spent a few days with them in September this year and came away determined to help. I hope that …
When the dry season sets in and water is scarce, barriers blur and relationships are forged out of necessity. One such relationship is that of Benny the elephant and Mike the human.
One of the last big elephant bulls in Africa was shot and killed by the authorities because it was suspected he had killed a farmer.
Living with the Maasai has taught me that conservation is not only about animals but is just as much about us humans; that to preserve any one place we have to be mindful of the local communities that live within it and try to understand the way they view the world to be able to work alongside them to protect mother nature.
Safari report-back: My tented mobile safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana – an adventure I will never forget. By Carolien du Plessis
Rare footage of the capture of wild young elephants in Zimbabwe shows rough treatment of the calves as they are sedated and taken away.
Technology and social media have shaped the Kruger experience into something radically different from what it was ten years ago.
A new report has revealed that China’s neighbouring country, Laos, has now become the fastest growing African ivory market in the world.
Lions from Etosha National Park in Namibia have reportedly escaped into the neighbouring Sesfontein Constituency and have managed to kill 19 goats in one night.
A large bull elephant, described as an ‘iconic tusker’ was trophy hunted in Zambia this weekend – the biggest elephant trophy in decades.
A transboundary elephant connectivity study has been launched in western Zambia with the fitting of satellite tracking collars to wild elephants to investigate their cross-border movements.
Hanko stamps are the Japanese version of a signature, used throughout Japan to sign deals and important documents, and are made out of a variety of materials, including elephant ivory.
Odzala-Kokoua National Park guide, Alon Cassidy, enjoyed some wonderful sightings of western lowland gorillas enjoying some seasonal treats.
In a tragic accident, 9 elephants have died in a freak accident after being electrocuted by power lines near Sua Pan and a village called Dukwi in Botswana.
How does one exactly combine Cape Town’s summer splendours with a wild Big 5 bushveld safari? We provide four fantastic summer/autumn combos!
Labelled the butterflies of the sea, we often ask ourselves why are marine flatworms so vibrantly coloured? Is it simply that they can be, therefore they are? Or is there a deeper significance?
Nudibranchs (the naked gills) are molluscs, the flamboyant snails of the ocean. Their colours and shapes are stunning, and their multiple forms elegant and striking.
Hong Kong has always been regarded as the epicentre of the global wildlife trade. It appears however that this trade is not adequately controlled by authorities and may lead many species to the brink of extinction. Unfortunately, many news headlines announce illegal elephant ivory and rhino horn trade being processed through Hong Kong’s borders. Many …
Aptly named the ‘King of Beasts’, lions are an iconic African wildlife species and are often high up on many travellers’ list of things to see when visiting Africa.
John Hume’s first three-day online rhino horn auction was met with “disappointing” results as there were fewer bidders than expected.
Sungazer – it sounds like a cool name for a dragon, and even though these rare lizards look like the mighty dragons from “Game of Thrones”, the fire of their soul may be burned out permanently.
Rhino farmer, John Hume, will be auctioning 500kgs of rhino horn online today (23 August 2017). He presents arguments for his rhino horn auction, which Dr Simon Morgan – co-founder of Wildlife ACT, debunks.
One of the most pressing and challenging issues currently facing African conservation is ensuring that wildlife and humans can coexist peacefully in the same area.
On the surface, the upcoming legal auction of rhino horn set to begin on August 21 might appear to be a harmless propaganda exercise, but it may in fact signal a deepening of the rhino crisis.
In early August, 34 elephants were translocated from Liwonde National Park to Nyika National Park, Malawi, in an effort to bolster the viability of the resident herd and fast-track recovery of critical numbers.
The trophy hunting of Africa’s wild, free roaming lions is not sustainable and has to stop.
After a few days in Madikwe we had already seen cheetahs, lions, wild dogs, spotted & brown hyenas, rhinos & elephants. By Marc de Chalain
One of this year’s Photographer of the Year 2017 entrants, Nelis Wolmarans, shared with us a sombre update on the subject of the photo that got him a place in the competition finals: the silverback gorilla, Giraneza.
Cycads are one of the most endangered species on this planet, it’s time we educate ourselves on how to save them from extinction.
Ndawe was the missing link, the proof that we were looking for. We were sure that elephants made the long journey between Tsavo and Amboseli, and he was the confirmation.
The aardvark, a highlight for anyone on a game-viewing African safari, will become increasingly rare due to the effects of climate change
This is a citizen science project to assist Kruger National Park scientists to monitor populations of large-tusked elephants in the park
An interesting idea has emerged about the way in which desert-adapted Namibian lions could potentially be saved from trophy hunting: put them up for auction.
The Zimbabwean trophy hunter who shot Cecil the Lion’s son, Xanda, was lying about the circumstances of the hunt, says the Oxford University researcher Andrew Loveridge from WildCru.
A suspicious trophy hunting advertisement has been placed online for a threatened Namibian desert lion. And this time it would appear that the target is the only known adult male lion in the Sesfontein Conservancy.
Xanda, the 6-year-old son of Cecil the Lion, has been shot and killed by a client of Zimbabwean professional hunter Richard Cooke, a Victoria Falls resident. Xanda, in his prime years and the father of several young cubs, was killed just outside Hwange National Park, as was his famous father. Although the hunt was reportedly …
South Africa should implement a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy for poachers, suggest Botswana academics Goemeone EJ Mogomotsi and Patricia Kelilwe Madigele in a report titled ‘Live by the gun, die by the gun’.
Disasters involving art materials are nothing new to me after years of travelling and sketching in southern Africa.
South African lion farmers are supplying large volumes of lion bone, teeth and claws as ‘tiger parts’ to an insatiable Asian market – says a report recently published by the Environmental Investigation Agency. South Africa is the world’s largest exporter of lion body parts.
A recently completed 11-month undercover investigation by Elephant Action League (EAL) called Grinding Rhino has exposed the networks, the players and the means by which rhino horn is trafficked into China.
In a world first, a wild lioness has been spotted nursing a leopard cub in Tanzania – a highly unique and unusual occurrence for big cats and cross-species adoption.